Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A diverse collection of lounges, restaurants, and dance clubs geared to a lively crowd that prefers partying to hiding out in the guest rooms
Opened in 2000, the Hudson was launched by the Morgans Hotel Group to be a trendy and affordable hotel. It's immediately clear upon arrival that the Hudson is different -- and far more stylish -- than most hotels in this price range in Manhattan. Steep, glowing chartreuse escalators escort guests from the hotel's gloomy street-level entrance into an airy, storybook lobby with soaring glass ceilings, a centerpiece glittering chandelier, and brick walls covered in ivy.
The tiny Philippe Stark designed rooms are modern and cozy, yet serve best as crash pads due to their small size. Rather than hang out in the rooms lingering over a tray of room service, guests migrate to the hotel’s plentiful common spaces to find their desired ambiance. Those seeking quiet discover dimly lit nooks furnished with antiques for meeting and reading, although the Hudson is not a settling in with a good book kind of place.
At the center of the main floor, peaking through the glass behind the front desk, is a chameleon-like courtyard space that transforms with the seasons. During summer it’s a colorful Tequila Park serving tacos and margaritas. Come autumn the space shifts to an Oktoberfest beer hall before turning into an urban ski lodge complete with faux fur blankets, taxidermy, warmed cocktails, and nightly snowfall.
Dictated by its young, lively audience, the hotel lacks a fine dining restaurant and instead is anchored by Hudson Common, a rustically chic, open and bright burger and beer hall with communal tables and a long list of microbrews on tap. The Library Bar, designed to mimic an old English club, is the most serious of the public spaces and is attractive by day to working guests for meetings and laptop sessions. It offers plenty of cushy leather chairs, a collection of antiques, a roaring fireplace, and a billiards table. Nightlife happens at Half and Half, a playful and artsy dance club with a collection of vintage arcade games from pinball to Pac-Man.
One of the hotel’s most attractive assets is on the 15th floor. The seasonal Sky Terrace is a rooftop oasis complete with trees and vine-covered arbors, plenty of cushy lounge chairs, and skyline views. Those craving more green space can wander out the front door and walk two blocks to Manhattan’s playground, the 843-acre Central Park.
On a busy Midtown West block, minutes to the shops and restaurants of the Time Warner Center, the subway, and the entrance to Central Park
The Hudson Hotel’s Midtown West location is just around the corner to Manhattan’s backyard, the sprawling green space of Central Park. Also within a few minutes walking distance is the Time Warner Center, a sleek entertainment and retail mecca with upscale shopping, a Whole Foods, Jazz and Lincoln Center, and touted restaurants such as Masa, A Voce, and Thomas Keller’s Per Se. The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall. The Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Arts and Design are also all within walking distance. The subway station at Columbus Circle, located two blocks from the hotel, accesses two lines.
Tiny but well organized with a smart Philippe Stark design
The rooms at the Hudson were designed to evoke the feel of trans-Atlantic travel, and that luxury cruise-ship vibe is evident from the moment you enter through the lime-green door. The walls are paneled in Makore (African cherry) wood, the floors are also finished in African wood, and the windows are covered with matching wood blinds. To contrast the darkness, the designer brightened the space with white leather sofas, chairs, and headboards with brassy nail-head trim. Sheer white curtains are used to separate the narrow entryways, outfitted with small closets and white cubicle storage towers, and to hide built-in closet/storage cases within the rooms. Narrow white desks with white reading lamps and white bedside tables topped with cool lamps by British X-ray photographer Nick Veasey complete the space. Wine coolers and safes are available but the rooms are missing coffeemakers and minibars.
Rooms range from minuscule 136-square-foot singles to 1,500-square-foot penthouses and apartments with fireplaces and private terraces. The majority of the rooms, however, fall into the Standard or Studio (150 to 300 square feet) categories and are equipped with doubles, queens, or two double beds. Beds are finished with crisp white cotton linens, down duvets, and gray throws with lime-green stripes. The brightness of the lime green is repeated throughout the rooms, entry doors, hangars, and drink cups.
The Hudson offers plenty of reasons not to stay in the room with collection of bars, restaurants, a dance club, and a park-like rooftop terrace
Part of the design-oriented Morgan Hotel Group, which also owns the Mondrian brand, the 876-room Hudson Hotel strives to be hip and fun as well as affordable. Its common areas -- lobby, restaurants, and lounges -- are spacious and high-design, offering room to party, relax, hold a meeting, and socialize. The stylish rooms, however, are tiny, accessed by barrack-like hallways and lacking amenities such as minibars and coffeemakers. But most guests are more interested in spending time at the dining and nightlife hot spots on site than staying in. More cultural pursuits from Jazz at Lincoln Center to Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera are all within walking distance.
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